FDA approves first gene therapy for use in the U.S.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made Kymriah available for patients under 25 to be treated with if they have a certain kind of acute lymphatic leukemia (a type of cancer where the body does not create normal lymphocytes) that is either in second or later relapse or is refractory. Kymriah is immunotherapy that uses patients’ own T-cells, which are genetically modified to kill leukemia and infused back into the patient.

This treatment has the potential to help thousands of young people that are suffering from leukemia in the status quo. The approval of this new gene therapy also opens new possibilities for the treatment of life-threatening illnesses such as cancer. However, there are possibly many serious side effects to the treatment, such as neurological problems; thus, the FDA has outlined strict requirements and guidelines for the utilization of Kymriah to ensure safe use.

Image: Steve Gschmeissner/Science Source



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